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George Karl confirms he wants to return to coaching (he wants the Laker to call)

May 9, 2014, 11:46 AM EDT

He and Lakers' GM Mitch Kupchak go back to North Carolina together.... Tar Heels forever.

He’s a coach with 25 years experience in the NBA and a .599 winning percentage. His teams have gone to the playoffs all but three of those 25 seasons, once all the way to the Finals. His teams play an up-tempo, entertaining style of basketball.

George Karl is available and why his name is slow to come up in some coaching searches around the NBA is a little confusing. He’s not the guy to call if you’re a bad team looking to develop young players, but if you’ve got a more veteran squad and want to win, he should be on your short list — the guy won the Coach of the Year award just before Denver fired him.

Karl wants back on the bench, something he said while interviewed on the NBA channel on SiriusXM, as transcribed by ESPN.

Current ESPN analyst George Karl confirmed Thursday that he’s interested in a return to coaching after saying in an interview on SiriusXM Radio earlier in the day that he’d “like to get back in the gym.”

“I’m enjoying my role at ESPN,” Karl said in a statement. “I’d be interested in the right coaching opportunity, but I respect the coaching profession too much to become a distraction to the process.”

Karl is not a fit for every NBA job that is open. Detroit, for example, would be a bit awkward.

But what about Minnesota? Or the Los Angeles Lakers? With L.A. there are natural ties, Karl pointed out.

“Mitch Kupchak [Lakers general manager] and I were roommates in college and Mitch has been a very good friend of mine for years,” Karl said on “Off The Dribble” on SiriusXM. “Have I talked to Mitch in the last couple of weeks? No, I haven’t.”

We will see if Karl lands anywhere, I’m not sure he’s a great fit for the Lakers (not bad, better than the last guy, but not great).

But his name should come up more than it does. The guy can flat out coach.

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